Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Benjamin concerned about Joseph

Published:Monday | December 26, 2016 | 12:44 AM

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC):

Leeward Islands Hurricanes head coach Reginald Benjamin said he was concerned that rookie West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph has failed to fire since his return to action in the WICB Regional 4-Day Tournament.

Joseph was sidelined for a little over a month following his return home to Antigua from the West Indies Tour of Zimbabwe to tend to his ailing mother.

He, however, returned to action for the Hurricanes in the last two matches of the 4-Day tournament before the long break for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, plus the Regional Super50 Tournament.

But the 20-year-old has not lit a spark, taking just four wickets in the period, much to the disappointment of Benjamin, as the Hurricanes suffered successive losses to the Windward Islands Volcanoes and Jamaica Scorpions, sliding to fifth in the tournament.

“He is not coming and hitting the lines and lengths efficiently, and we didn’t want at the beginning of the season, to be depending on (Rahkeem Cornwall) only,” Benjamin said.

“As you can see, Gavin Tonge and other players have stepped up, and with Alzarri coming back, we were sure that we would have an edge to our bowling attack, but thus far it hasn’t paid off.”

Benjamin believes the break will be good for not only Joseph, but the rest of the Hurricanes squad, giving them a chance to regroup before tackling the Super50 tournament and the remainder of the four-day matches.

“After the Guyana game, Hugh Gore, our manager, and I had a meeting and based on our observations, one of the things we came up with is that some players started getting complacent,” said Benjamin.

“So we saw it right at that point, and even in Trinidad, and in Windward Islands. We addressed it against Jamaica, but (the break) comes at a very opportune time because we have to go back to the drawing board.

“We should be second on the table, but we had a game against the Volcanoes, where we basically allowed that to get away from us, and I think that had a negative effect on us for the game against the Scorpions.”